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Submitted by A. Roubaix on
Well said. Regarding China, the efforts to bring back those who went to study high-skill fields abroad are nothing new indeed. In some form or another, they are essentially coeval with China's decision to allow [some of its] citizens to study abroad after the Cultural Revolution, that disastrous experiment estimated to have cost the country ca. 1M undergraduates and 100K graduate students. China has had to keep trying new ways of brain-drain reversal because its overseas students in the developed countries, and especially in the U.S., have had the highest stay rates among foreign students. (The Chinese Humboldtian students - that is, those participating in the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation study programs in Germany - might be an exception to such rates). Among the efforts to reverse drain brain one should note : the Financial Support for Outstanding Young Professors programme, and the Overseas Study Service Centers started in the late 1980s ; the Seed Fund for Returned Overseas Scholars, the Cross-Century Outstanding Personnel Training, and the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars programmes established in the early-to-mid 1990s ; the Hundred Talents programme of the CAS, the Postdoctoral Stations of the Ministries of Education and Personnel for overseas graduates otherwise unable to find jobs in China, and the Yangtze River Scholar Awards of the Ministry of Education (and a Hong Kong entrepreneur) established in the mid-to-late 1990s. Many such programmes have been successfully expanded in the dawn of this new century. The most recent effort, the One Thousand Talents programme, aims to bring in scholars with full professorships or equivalent university status abroad. What distinguishes this plan potentially the most from prior ones is that it may also target scholars of a non-Chinese origin, as recently reported in the 29th January issue of Nature ; if true, it will represent a significant departure of national policy. Finally, as you note, the huge disparity between the salaries offered to overseas Chinese and those of their domestic peers is likely to become another thorn in China's policies to bring back overseas doctoral students or Chinese scholars who have taken foreign citizenship. Cheers PS. Nice to see you are back commenting in this interesting blog.